I believe that, in today’s disposable society, people still place a high value on hand-crafted pieces of art that will survive the passage of time.
In these all-digital times, the platinum print, quite a venerable photographic technology, wins the hearts of photographers, collectors, galleries, and museums for its permanence and unique beauty. It offers subtle nuances that are still unrivaled.
The platinum-palladium print is made entirely by hand. It begins with the preparation of a photosensitive solution containing platinum and palladium salts mixed with ferric oxalate. The solution is applied to carefully selected art paper. When the paper has dried, it is placed in contact with a negative the size of the print and both elements are exposed to light. Under ultraviolet rays, Fe2+ ions, which can reduce metallic salts, are formed. After exposure that can last up to twenty minutes, a “developer” is poured on the paper to complete the reduction of metal salts to pure metals. The image is then cleared in baths to remove any remaining photosensitive compounds, and the print is washed extensively with water to leave behind only the pure metals, platinum and palladium.
Due to variations inherent in the craft process, each print is unique, a piece of Art.
The platino-palladiotype is undoubtedly the most lasting photographic print process. Platinum and palladium, precious metals embedded in the fibers of the paper, are unalterable. They are insensitive to ultra-violet, to oxidations and other chemical attacks. The image made of pure metal will last as long as the paper used.